Cybersecurity is a critical issue in the modern world. As more and more of our personal and professional lives move online, the need for effective cybersecurity measures becomes increasingly important. One key aspect of maintaining strong cybersecurity posture is the Post Incident Review.

A Post Incident Review is a document that is created after a cybersecurity incident has occurred: it is an in-depth analysis of what happened, how it happened, and what steps can be taken to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

One of the primary reasons that post-incident reports are so important is that they allow organizations to learn from their mistakes: by thoroughly examining a cybersecurity incident, organizations can identify any weaknesses in their systems and take steps to shore up those weaknesses.

There are different methodologies that can be applied to the creation of a post-incident report, but I think the best documentation on this is that provided by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, which has published a set of guidelines and templates dedicated to incident response issues.

In fact, in Chapter 14.1 of its Cyber Incident Response Plan, ACSC provides a set of guidelines for creating a Post Incident Review document:

A Post Incident Review (PIR) is a detailed review conducted after an organisation has experienced a cyber security incident. It can include a hot debrief which is held immediately after an organisation has recovered its networks and systems from a cyber security incident and a formal debrief held after the incident report has been completed, such as within two weeks.

Key questions to consider in your PIR:

  • What were the root causes of the incident and any incident response issues?
  • Could the incident have been prevented? How?
  • What worked well in the response to the incident?
  • How can our response be improved for future incidents?

In the appendix, ACSC also provides more details about the process along with a convenient template that can be used to produce the report: